Volpe, Judge & Yankee Bombers to the Rescue. NY 9 Miami 4

Anthony Volpe 3-run homer in the top of 2nd puts NY ton top 3-0.

Just before game time it was announced that Nestor Cortes would be taken out of action for a month or more with a left rotator cuff strain — the same injury that had kept him out of the rotation the last 2 months — most probably ending his season.

With the Yankee season teetering — and Ian Hamilton set to “open” and NY still not having announced the starter who would pitch after him — either Jhony Brito or Randy Vasquez — NY may have been at a new nadir for the year.

But then the Yankee offense arrived like the cavalry. Anthony Volpe hit a 3-run Bomb in the top of the 2nd, Aaron Judge followed with a Rocket homer in the 3rd, and the Yanks ripped 5 singles in the 4th for 3 more runs and a 7-2 lead.

Ian Hamilton pitched a 2nd inning, and ran into some tough luck — allowing 2 runs — but Randy Vasquez came in to pitch a solid 3.2 innings, and the Yankee bullpen took it from there — Jonathan Loaisiga, Tommy Kahnle, and Clay Holmes shutting out Miami the rest of the way.

“A lot of good things happened out there,” said manager Aaron Boone afterwards. “Starting with swinging the bats, off a really good starting pitcher too. We were able to hit him (Jesus Luzardo) hard — and that’s a guy in the middle of a really good season — another really good season. That was really good to see, up and down guys hitting the ball hard against him. I thought Hamilton threw the ball well — couple plays out there he probably gets out of it unscathed. Randy did everything we needed him to do, and the backend was really strong.”

NY improves to 60-56, 11 behind Baltimore, 9 behind Tampa, 4 behind Toronto (and a wild card), and 1 behind Boston. Miami falls to 60-57, 14.5 behind Atlanta, and .5 behind the Wild Card.

1. Cortes Out

“It’s tough to swallow this right now,” said Nestor Cortes after the game on his renewed injury.

Cortes wasn’t right from the start this season — allowing homers in the 5th or 6th inning of many starts and being put in the Injured List after his May 30th start. He finally came back on August 5th against Houston and looked like the old Cortes.

But he experienced more tightness than usual the next day, and had more trouble trying to throw a bullpen session this week on Thursday. NY had an MRI exam done that revealed another strain that was “a little bit more pronounced than the last time”, according to Cortes.

2. Volpe 3-Run Bomb Kicks It Off

With the Yankee season teetering, the Yankee offense came to the rescue in the top of the 2nd against Miami starter Jesus Luzardo, who entered with an 8-6 3.52 record.

Giancarlo Stanton led off with a single, Harrison Bader followed with a single, and next batter Anthony Volpe hit a 404-foot, 3-run bomb to left center for a 3-0 NY lead.

“Like I said he has really good stuff and I was in a 2-strike count with runners on,” said Volpe afterwards. “I just tried to shorten up and just put the barrel on the ball, and luckily it went out.”

Next batter Jake Bauers just missed a homer — his drive to left was caught at top of the wall on a tremendous catch by Bryan De La Cruz.

3. Hamilton Pitches 2 Innings

Meanwhile many Yankee fans were wondering if Ian Hamilton — who had just “opened” the prior game on Wednesday night but only pitched 1 inning (Luis Severino got bombed in the 2nd) would pitch 1 inning again, or 2 innings.

This time, after a strong 1-2-3 inning in the 1st, Boone had Hamilton pitch the 2nd. Hamilton allowed an infield single, pop out, then a line drive by Jesus Sanchez toward 1st that Jake Bauers JUST Missed catching — it was JUST fair down the line and went for a triple and 3-1 game. Jake Burger followed with a double to make it a 3-2 game.

4. Judge Rocket

But Aaron Judge immediately extended the NY lead to 4-2 with a 424-foot ROCKET to center leading off the top of the 3rd.

5. Vasquez Good

Randy Vasquez came out to pitch the bottom of the 3rd — as the delayed starter. He pitched well.


  • Pitched 1-2-3 inning in the 3rd,
  • Given a 7-2 lead in the top of the 4th, surrendered a run in the bottom of the 4th on a 1-out walk, and 2-out double to Jake Burger (his 2nd RBI double on the night),
  • Pitched 1-2-3 inning in the 5th,
  • Allowed a Massive homer to Josh Bell leading off the 6th, then got 2 outs sandwiching a double to De La Cruz — and was relieved by Jonathan Loaisiga with Jake Burger due up.

All in all another nice start by Vasquez, the 24-year-old, 6’0 righty who gets the win to go 2-1 1.89.

“I think I’m still developing,” said Vasquez afterwards. “I feel that every start is an opportunity to learn more and get more comfortable at this level.”

6. Yankee Machine-Gun Attack in 4th

And then the Yankees got rid of Luzardo in the 4th — with 1 out, consecutive singles by Jake Bauers, Kyle Higashioka, and Oswaldo Cabrera plated a run and made it 5-2 NY.

Next batter Isiah Kiner-Falefa singled to center to make it 6-2 NY.

Fireballer George Soriano came in and struck out Aaron Judge but Gleyber Torres got one more home on a single to left. NY 7 Miami 2.

Soriano throws smoke but has control issues. In the 5th, after a fly out, he walked the bases loaded (Volpe, Bauers, and Higgy) but then struck out Oswaldo Cabrera and Isiah Kiner-Falefa to end the inning.

7. Yankee Bullpen Shuts Miami Out

After getting Jake Burger on a groundout leaving the runner on 2nd in the 6th — a low-key huge out, Jonathan Loaisiga pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 7th (fly out, ground out, ground out), keeping the score 7-4 NY.

Tommy Kahnle pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 8th (ground out, strike out, strike out), keeping the score 7-4 NY.

8. Yanks Put It Away in 9th

In the top of the 9th the Yankees put it away. Giancarlo Stanton led off with an infield single to the catcher; next batter Harrison Bader singled pinch runner Greg Allen to 3rd, and Anthony Volpe walked to load the bases with nobody out against Steven Okert.

Kyle Higashioka came up with the big hit — a 2-RBI single to make it 9-4 (Volpe thrown out at 3rd).

That made it easy for Clay Holmes, who pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the 9th (strike out, ground out, line out to center by Jake Burger) for the old ballgame.

The Boxscore



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